“If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.”
~ Lao Tzu
Are you distracted? I know I am. Right now, I’m thinking about all of the others things I could be doing as I’m doing the one thing that I love, writing. I’m thinking about my long ass to do list, what’s for dinner, what happened yesterday and how I wish I could be somewhere on an island far away from this very moment. But the truth is, the moment I’m in is beautiful and it’s when I’m happiest. So why do I continue to run from this very moment?
Do you run as well? I believe we all do. It’s almost impossible not to. Our minds are wired to think about what happens next that we almost always forget the very moment that we’re in. Our inner voice incessantly chatters about nonsense. What will life be like when we graduate from college? Buy a house? Get married? Build a family? Start that podcast?
And then even more…. Will that mistake from the past come back and haunt us again?
Jeez! We really just need to grab ahold of ourselves and tell our inner voice to SHUT UP already. Here’s why. Most studies indicate that we are happiest when we live in the moment and unhappiness is directly associated with a distracted mind. This leads me to believe that we are wasting precious moments where we could be happy on what may or may never come.
I must tell you I’m not suggesting that you stop setting goals or stop planning for the next phase in life. I’m only suggesting that you take extra time to appreciate the moment that you’re in right now. What does that moment feel like? For me that moment fills my heart with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. It prompts me to be grateful for most things in life that are often overlooked, the warm bed with the coziest of blankets, the roof over my head and the hot coffee in my favorite cup. These feelings bring me joy and I want to feel them over and over again.
I imagine you’ll want to feel this way as well. But if this is not enough to persuade you here’s a few more reasons why it’s important to live in the present moment.
- You’ll lower your stress levels. Which will affect your overall health.
- You’ll gain focus on what you can control, the very moment that you are in.
- You’ll enjoy moments for what they are rather than what the mind makes them out to be.
- You’ll spend less time being disappointed with unexpected outcomes.
- And you’ll experience life as the incredible gift that is.
Life is short and tomorrow is not guaranteed so why not enjoy the moment while we have the chance?